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Staff photo by Doug Strickland/ People walk at Greenway Farm on Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019, in Chattanooga, Tenn. The North Chickamauga Creek Greenway, accessible from Greenway Farm, will be a part of the interconnected Great Eastern Trail.

As the state of Tennessee and the local county and city governments ease restrictions amid the novel coronavirus, many public Chattanooga area greenspaces have reopened.

While some activities, like using playgrounds, are still prohibited, there are miles of trails and acres of parks that can still be enjoyed.

In adjusting to new normals, residents may find that some local trails are easier than others when it comes to social distancing.

Life-long trail enthusiasts Randy and Kris Whorton, founders of local non-profit Wild Trails, said that people are adjusting in their own personal ways.

From stepping off a trail to let others pass, to leaving space in between cars in parking lots, they have seen people continue to utilize these areas, though many with added caution. 

"I think it's really more on the individual to manage it than it is on specifically how well the trails will accommodate it," Kris said. 

But while there are ways to adapt on a variety of trails, the couple said there are still trails, like greenways and converted roads, that may provide more comfort for social distancing because of their ample space.

So here are a few community-submitted suggestions for local parks and trails that may make it a little easier to keep one's distance.

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North Chickamauga Creek Greenway

5051 Gann Store Rd. Hixson, TN 37343

With various asphalt, crushed rock, grass and dirt trails, this greenway along North Chickamauga Creek is a pet-friendly option for those seeking a bit of time outdoors. The larger park itself has over 180 acres of recreational space, according to its website.

 

Collegedale Greenway

Behind Collegedale City Hall, 4910 Swinyar Dr. Collegedale, TN 37363

The City of Collegedale's pedestrian greenway provides a paved path through the city's scenic greenery. 

 

Guild-Hardy Trail

498 Ochs Hwy, Chattanooga, TN 37409

This five-mile trail on Lookout Mountain offers a relatively flat biking or hiking experience while winding through a number of Civil War historical sites, according to the Lookout Mountian Conservancy website.

 

Chickamauga National Battlefield Park

3370 Lafayette Rd, Fort Oglethorpe, GA 30707

The Chickamauga Battle Field has around 50 miles of hiking trails that are currently only open to foot traffic. Many of these follow old historical roads set up by the military during the civil war, according to the park's website.

 

Enterprise South 

190 Still Hollow Loop, Chattanooga, TN 37416

Enterprise South Park is home to many hiking, biking and horse trails. Visitors can also drive along the park to take in views without having to leave the car. The visitor center is currently closed, but users can take part in self-guided recreation.

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The National Recreation and Parks Association has also released general guidelines for those hoping to enjoy parks and trails nationwide.

The guidelines include:

— Do not use parks or trails if you are exhibiting symptoms

— Follow CDC guidance on personal hygiene prior to visiting parks or trails

— Be prepared to limited access to public restrooms or water fountains 

— Share the trail and warn other trail users of your presence and as you pass

— Observe CDC's minimum recommended physical distancing of 6' from other persons at all times

The Hamilton County website also requests that if users are unable to maintain social distancing that they find alternative locations or times.

 

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